It’s getting real now. Mel Kiper Jr. has released his first mock draft on ESPN.com. Kiper and Todd McShay’s mocks are the most important ones out there because they are seemingly the most plugged in. They report what they’re hearing, rather than projecting based off of evaluations. With that being said, let’s see who Kiper thinks the Titans will take a 5 and 18.
At fifth overall, Kiper give wide receiver Mike Williams to Tennessee.
One of the stars in the Tigers' national title game win, Williams finished the season with 98 catches for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. He's the top wideout in this draft. Marcus Mariota could use a deep threat and chain-mover -- Williams was fifth in the country in 2016 with 60 catches that resulted in first downs.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I just don’t see Williams going this high in April. I could be wrong, but I think he will struggle at the combine. Williams doesn’t show much suddenness or explosion. He won with size. That’s fine, but at the NFL level I want to see my receivers consistently getting open.
Kiper came back at 18 with Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey.
I've mentioned this before, but 2017 could be the year of the third-year sophomore. Humphrey is the fifth such player I listed in the first round. A hamstring injury slowed him down toward the end of the 2016 season, but he's an outstanding prospect with great size (6-1, 196). The Titans have two first-round picks -- I gave them Mike Williams at No. 5 -- and cornerback should be a spot they target.
As expected, the Titans go receiver and cornerback. Humphrey is an interesting case, being that he is a redshirt sophomore. We’ll see how much that matters to Jon Robinson. Regardless, Humphrey is an aggressive, attacking cornerback that was a big part of that nasty ‘Bama defense. Humphrey only totaled two interceptions and five passes defensed, however. If Robinson values production like I think he does, Humphrey may not be his guy.
- Marshon Lattimore lands at 6 overall to the Jets here. He is a very real option at 5. I think he may be the best option on the board at this point.
- Tim Williams — once Kiper’s number one overall player — tumbles to 21. There are several off the field concerns here. Randy Gregory 2.0?
- Corey Davis checks in at 27, which is really low to me. I’m expecting Davis to rise through this process and become a real option at 18.
- Derek Barnett tumbles to 31. People are going to overthink Barnett. All he did was out-pace Myles Garrett in sacks in SEC league play. I think Barnett goes much higher than this.